Theses and Dissertations from Print to ETD: The Nuances of Preserving and Accessing those in Music

Theses and Dissertations from Print to ETD: The Nuances of Preserving and Accessing those in Music

Daniel Gelaw Alemneh (University of North Texas, USA) and Ralph Hartsock (University of North Texas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7230-7.ch034
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Abstract

Important products in an academic library's collection are Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations since they represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by Master's and Doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Each has experienced an evolution to a new format, electronic. Many of these are PDF files, using the Adobe Acrobat software. Until very recently, though, those files with accompanying materials were separated. This chapter further discusses several issues inherent in this process. These include access, use, re-use, preservation, storage, integration with other systems, copyrights, and permissions. The successful management of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) requires effort across the entire lifecycle to ensure that ETDs are managed, preserved, and made accessible in a manner that today's users expect. Given the pressure of reading more in less time, today's users demand access to various formats regardless of temporal and spatial restrictions and the types of devices used.
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Setting The Stage

Multiple formats from print to electronic have emerged with the advances in technology. Today’s theses and dissertations, whether born digital, or retrospectively digitized from the analog (paper or microforms), are PDF files, using the Adobe Acrobat software. Until very recently, however, those files were separated from any physical accompanying materials. Creation of the notated music within the theses and dissertations has evolved from the use of manufactured manuscript paper to the utilization of notational software (Finale, etc.).

Accompanying materials are not limited to those that constitute performances (audio cassettes, audio compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs). Visual forms (geologic diagrams or maps, slides, images of art objects) accompany dissertations in fields as diverse as stratigraphic geology, biology, and art. These can be described using the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition (AACR2) (Joint Steering Committee, 2002) and more recently, Rules for Description and Access (RDA) (Canadian Library Association, 2010). The rules facilitate this description as accompanying materials.

This has implications in fields beyond music; in the visual arts, the writer is able to attach files and photographs depicting two or three dimensional art objects. Geology dissertations often contain multi-colored diagrams that in the past have been inserted into pockets after the main textual material, much like inserting an instrumental part in a folder after a music score (see Figure 1). Description of these is quite similar to the description of accompanying material in the audiovisual formats, using OCLC MARC format. Students in the biological sciences have also submitted video recordings of their experiments.

Figure 1.

Geology thesis

©2013, University of North Texas Libraries, used with permission.

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